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3 week itinerary


I will be doing a 3 week solo trip at the beginning of September. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good "plan?" I will be spending 3 days in Athens, then heading out. Im not on any specific schedule, and just want to see things as I go, but Im not sure what the best route is through the islands. Any suggestions?

Posted by
7786 posts

What are your interests? How is your mode of transportation going to be? What countries are you thinking about.?

A little more specifics will get you better replies.

Greece is pretty far south, and out of the way from more normal European travel sights. And with the current economic-political problems, it'd not be at the top of my places to travel to this year.

Posted by
3063 posts

E.erick02, get yourself a copy of T. Cook's "Greek Island Hopping" so you can plan your trip based on your interests. Current wisdom suggests that you save your time on the mainland for the end of your time in Greece so you aren't backtracking and so you don't have to scramble back to Athens at the last minute for your flight home. Although fairly rare, cancellations, delays and mechannical breakdowns do occur, especially on the ferries.

Ferry schedule website:

Ambitiousbrooke, have you factored in to your 3.5 month itinerary the fact that your maximum stay within the Schengen Zone is 90 days, and then you have to leave for another 90 days? Hopefully you've planned for some of that time to be outside the Schengen States.

Posted by
40 posts

If you have three weeks, I'd actually recommend another day or two in Athens. Or start in Athens for a couple days and reserve a couple more at the end of your trip. The museums and archeological sites there are extensive, and with a trip of three weeks you can afford the time. I'm not sure what you mean by "heading out," but Delphi is a particularly easy day trip from Athens. Consider the wonderful town of Nafplio in the Peloponnese.

It does not seem to me that there is any "best" route through the islands. Do a lot of reading, then choose ones that appeal to you most.

Posted by
2039 posts

I agree with Lee ... save your Athens time for the end of the trip. And I think 3 nights in Athens is plenty.

My recommendation would be that after you land in Athens, fly directly to your furthest island. Allow a couple of hours between the time your plane lands and your flight to the island takes off.

Where to go? As everyone has said, that's really up to you. Do some research and see what islands really seem appealing to you. With 3 weeks, I'd probably do 4 islands, planning to ferry between them. Pick four islands that are in the same "group" -- i.e. the Cyclades or the Dodecanese, to simplify and minimize transportation. Depending on your island group, you can fly or ferry back to Athens at the end.

Most people visit the Cyclades on their first trip ... Santorini, Naxos and/or Paros, sometimes Mykonos. Again depending on your interests, there are other Cycladic islands you could consider (Milos, Folegandros, Sifnos). If you choose these islands, you would likely fly to Santorini first, then make your way back to Athens by ferry.

I personally love the Dodecanese. You could fly to Rhodes, then island hop northward. At that time of year (in these islands) you wouldn't need hotel reservations .... just a good ferry schedule, and a guidebook with listings of hotels. You could call for reservations the night before you'll arrive on each island, or even just take your chances on finding someone at the ferry dock offering rooms. Along the way you could visit the tiny island of Nisyros, which has an active (but not erupting) volcano that you can walk around inside, which I found fascinating. If you time it right, you could hop all the way up to Samos and then take a day trip over to Ephesus in Turkey, which is one of the most amazing archeological sites you'll ever see. Then you could fly from Samos back to Athens. (I'd buy that plane ticket in advance.)

You're going to have such a great time! Let us know if you have any other questions.